The idea behind Out of the Blue was a beer for summer days. Something refreshing, but something unusual (for these here parts) and with plenty of character. The name ’Out of the Blue’ is a revival of the name of Ronnie Brandon’s ’end of the pier show’ at Cromer which was first staged in 1936 and again in the years after the war, restarting in 1955. Cromer’s pier show is still going strong and is the last of its kind in the UK.
I have enjoyed brewing with Belgian yeasts, which lend a beer such character but I didn’t want anything that would be too tart for the English palate. Some of the Belgian beers can be very sour, so I have chosen a Saison yeast. At first this beer appeared to acidify in the cask more than any I have brewed before, so I was concerned that it would still be to your taste. But after four days in the bottle, it began to come in to condition, and the first tasting calmed my fears. It is good and mild but has developed plenty of character. By the time it is released on 28 July, it was very good indeed. It is best drunk in small quantities I think, like a wine, and goes very well with food. In fact it is a superb accompaniment to a Cromer Crab sandwich or a salad, even if I do say so myself.
The hop character is deliberately low, with Northern Brewer hops for bittering and Hallertau Hersbrucker for a gentle noble hop flavour and aroma. There were three gyles to this brew, divided in secondary fermentation. The first gyle was mildly spiced with fresh elderflowers and this is the one to be released on 28 July. The second gyle was spiced with a different batch of elderflowers and was labelled as ’Seafood Lovers’ Ale’ to emphasise its perfect partnership with food. The third gyle was spiced with fresh aromatic flowers of the field picked by me on a sunny afternoon at one of my fabourite spots near Hunworth (meadowsweet, honeysuckle, dog rose, elderflower) and also dry-hopped with more Hallertau Hersbrucker. The idea was to try to recreate those heady scents of a summer’s day out in the picturesque North Norfolk countryside and this was labelled ’Flowers of the Field: Saison’.
imdownthepub (8470) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - JAN 8, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled, 375ml cork and wired, from Cromer Farm & Health Shop, Cromer, Norfolk. Gold, carbonated with white head. An interesting start from this new cuckoo brewery, a deliberate Saison, there is a light apple flavour from this, rather like a Normandy cider, this is with a lemony hop note. There is a touch of sweetness giving it a slightly flabby note, but there is a balancing floral hint to keep it interesting. Pretty pricey, but really worth a try.
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